Intruder Alarm Systems: Is the Security Industry Installing and Maintaining Alarm Systems in Compliance to Australian Standard AS2201?
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / Centre for Security Research
The study presents an insight into the compliance of installed intruder alarm systems against the relevant Australian Standard. A survey of 451 domestic and commercial intruder alarm systems was completed across the Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia. The gathered data were evaluated against Australian Standard AS2201.1 for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of intruder alarm systems to determine whether alarm installations complied with two parts of the standard, being that of control panel location and zone supervision. Security technicians are tested, and if they pass are awarded a licence, in part, against their knowledge and understanding of AS2201.1. The combination of the Western Australian Security Act and Australian Standard AS2201 provide what could be considered the most robust control of the intruder alarm installers sector within Australia. The Australian Standard AS2201.1 required that intruder alarm control equipment shall be located within the alarmed area, located outside the entry/exit point and operate in dual end-of-line supervision. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of the intruder alarms measured did not comply with AS2201.1, with 17.52 per cent of panels located outside an alarmed area, 14.86 per cent panels located in the entry/exit point, 45.90 per cent of the panels not capable of dual end-of-line supervision and 58.75 per cent of the systems configured in single end-of-line supervision. These items contravene sections of the Australian Standard AS2201.1 and would appear to demonstrate systemic failure within this sector of the security industry. Further to these findings, the study made a number of conclusions in an attempt to understand why such a level of non-compliance was found. Conclusions included a lack of industry-focused vocational training and education, limited industry self-regulation and supervision, restricted licensing regime, inappropriate legislation and not having a single federal approach to such matters. In addition, the introduction of a new performance based AS2201 standard may further decrease the ability to measure such non-compliance. However, no single aspect could be considered ineffective; rather, it is argued that all of these areas need to be addressed to significantly reduce the level of systemic non-compliance of intruder alarms systems.